Cricket South Africa (CSA) have announced 15-member squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka that will begin from 12th July. Steyn has been sidelined from the side since 2015 due to various injuries. He has missed 27 Test matches for South Africa during this three-year period.
The fast bowler suffered from a broken shoulder on South Africa’s tour to Australia in November 2016. Steyn did make a comeback to the side in the home series against India. He only bowled in the first innings of the first game played at Newlands, Cape Town. He could not take the field in the second innings due to a bruised heel.
Dale Steyn signed for Hampshire in the upcoming English County Championship 2018 in order to prove his form and fitness to selectors. The selectors have picked uncapped leg-spinner, Shaun von Berg. Keshav Maharaj is still South Africa’s first-choice for the series in Sri Lanka. Left-arm Chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi has been selected given the surfaces might require South Africa to play two spinners in Sri Lanka.
South African Coach Ottis Gibson showed his full-support for Dale Steyn and said that the premier bowler is still very much part of the plans and would be picked if regains full fitness. Steyn will definitely come in place of Morne Morkel, who retired from international cricket in March. Lungi Ngidi will be competing for a place given his impressive performances for South Africa in the longer format of the game.
Chief Selector Linda Zondi said that Rabada has fully recovered from a back stress fracture that kept him out for two months. Dale Steyn will be focused to make sure he stays fit in order to past Shaun Pollock tally of 421 wickets in Test cricket. He is currently three wickets to become leading wicket-taker for South Africa in Test cricket.
The two-match Test series will be followed by one-day series and one-off T20 game.
South Africa’s Test squad for Sri Lanka series: Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock (wk), Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Aiden Markram, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Dale Steyn, Shaun von Berg.